Change constantly happens.
In today’s vernacular, as children grow and experience spurts of learning and change, they go through what’s known as leaps, as indicated by the app, Wonder Weeks. They help you recognize that new behavior isn’t merely problematic; something is happening physiologically and mentally to help the baby grow.
It doesn’t stop with infants. We all go through rites of passage that demonstrate growth and maturity.
Four-year-old Ward has seen many changes in his young life. One he has been working on for a time has been to successfully use the toilet for fecal matter.
Figuring how to poop in the potty.
This isn’t an unusual situation. Many children have issues with going number two on the toilet; some of it’s physiological, and some of it’s a mindset.
Ward was committed to doing the deed.
He wasn’t alone.
Big sister Sloane, with a heart full of compassion, sat with him, iPad in hand and the promise of ice cream if there was a success, and stayed the course till the job was accomplished.
There was great rejoicing in a room not familiar with celebration.
We all need those people in our lives who will urge us to keep trying, who will stay by our side when life feels hard. People who are safe when the world feels threatening or overwhelming.
Paul was being held in a Roman or Ephesian prison when he wrote his letter to the Philippians about 62 A.D. He’d been arrested for sharing the gospel of Jesus. These apostles were bold in their faith because they’d experienced the living Jesus. Paul himself had once been a Pharisee, one of the religious rulers of the day who tried desperately to disprove Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah–until he met Jesus himself.
Paul wrote a letter to the church in Philippi to encourage the people there to be strong in their faith and to experience the joy of the Lord in a very troubled and broken world. He knew what it was like to be needy, to know his limitations.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
Confronting challenging times in life is what we all do. Learning to deal with such circumstances is nothing we have to face alone. Jesus promises to be with us, to give us the strength, not to avoid the situations, but to have the ability to get through them with hope.
These are our adult learning leaps. Recognizing we can trust Jesus to be present in all His power and compassion for us in every difficulty of life means we’re not alone. We have Someone who comes alongside us to remind us that we are more than our problems, greater than our shortcomings, and better than our worst days.
Because we are loved and cherished if we allow ourselves to be.
Ward thrived under the encouragement of his sister and met his challenge.
We need to give ourselves the chance to thrive under the love of Jesus.
He’s always in our corner.